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How Honest Are You?


Published 1950


For teenagers, honesty can come easy or hard, depending on the stakes.


Run time 13:21
Producer Coronet Instructional Films
Sponsor N/A
Audio/Visual Sd, B&W


Shotlist

Analyzes students' understanding of honesty, showing that they don't have much trouble with simple honesty, but in some situations, where honesty is a much deeper problem, complications arise.

21:10:31
Teen boys in locker room getting dressed for a game
21:10:49
Bob comes back to locker room to take something from someone else's locker
21:12:00
Bob comes back to locker room to take something from a locker
21:12:13
Same scene again - this time tracking shot reveals witness
21:12:58
Teen boy awake at night thinking
21:16:05
Bob in locker room again, this time more obviously stealing money

Ken Smith sez: Did basketball star Bob really steal money out of Ben's locker? Since this is a Coronet film he probably didn't, but the characters in this production have to flesh out the truth for themselves. Lots of deep self-examination of motives and what was and wasn't seen, lots of interplay with the camera, and acting that's actually pretty good. There's even a plot twist, when "Rose" confesses her real reason for ratting to the coach about Bob. "I can just see it," she says, as the camera dollies in for a CU of her glazed eyes. "You'll get Bob off the team and Terry will become the regular center. MY Terry. He'll be the star of the team. And I'll be sitting on top of the world!" Whew, pretty heady stuff for Coronet.
All in all, a tight little film; an example of Coronet's social guidance style at its peak.
The actors deliver their lines with exactly the same cadence and emphasis as they would later in Going Steady? and How To Say No. Also, as in those films, this Coronet production has no narrator. Coincidences?

BASKETBALL SPORTS BOYS COACHES LOCKER ROOMS SNOOPING THIEVERY CRIME LYING HONESTY BEHAVIOR SOCIAL GUIDANCE ATHLETICS TEENAGERS ADOLESCENTS DISCUSSIONS SCHOOLS EDUCATION STUDENTS WHISTLES ASSUMPTIONS ANGST
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Reviews

Reviewer: JSBejma - - September 24, 2014
Subject: Let's Dissect The Term "Honest"

And that is exactly what they did.

Apparently Hillary Rodham (later Clinton) was home sick from school the day they showed this film.
Reviewer: ERD - - March 29, 2006
Subject: Good but somewhat contrived
Good points brought out about being honest, but the coach making a lesson of it with a blackboard seemed contrived. Enjoyed seeing the styles and mannerizms of the 1950 high school teenagers.
Reviewer: xirdneh - - March 28, 2006
Subject: Campy Fun
Welcome back to you Rose, but now let's have a little skull practice....

FIND THE TRUTH
Reviewer: Spuzz - - July 30, 2003
Subject: Rashomon, Coronet style!
This odd film is quite an oddity from Coronet Films. First, it opens up with a group of people and a narrator speaking into the camera. We're trying to figure out what really happens when a boy went into someone else's locker. Was he stealing something? Plenty of witnesses come forward, telling their side of the story, it's all quite interesting and gripping until the VERY STUPID AND PAT ENDING. You're left with a "suuuure" attitude that this REALLY happened and that the kid just made up that excuse.

And hey! It's Edward from Dating Do's and Don'ts! And Jason Priestley!
Reviewer: Christine Hennig - - November 4, 2002
Subject: How Honest Are You?
Jim sees Bob take something out of Ben's locker. Later, he sees Bob buying an expensive pen at the drugstore. Jumping to conclusions, he hints to his friends that Bob may be a thief and this ultimately leads to a big, soul-searching conversation in the coach's office among all parties involved about the nature of honesty. Although rather hokily presented, this film actually deals with some complex moral issues in a fairly intelligent way, especially for a Coronet film. Of course, the entire incident is the sort of problem we all wish we could have, but the moral principles could apply to more realistic situations as well. This is one of the few social guidance films I've seen that even comes a little bit close to achieving the lofty goals of its makers.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: **. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: ***. Overall Rating: ****. Also available on Teenage Turmoil, Vol. 6
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